Public-Sector Technology Officials Confused About Stimulus Funding, Survey Says

Dell survey: Federal, state and local IT professionals need more clarity on the stimulus package, and existing stimulus information is too general or nonexistent.

by / May 4, 2009

According to a spring 2009 survey by Dell, information technology professionals across the federal, state, local, health-care, K-12 and higher-education jurisdictions say they lack clarity on details of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, the much-discussed $787 billion economic stimulus package President Obama signed into law in February.

The computer giant conducted the survey of 662 people from March 12 to March 27 and unveiled results in an April 30 press release, claiming that respondents need "clearer, more customized information related to the flow and impact of ARRA funds."

Seventy-nine percent of public-sector IT respondents said they were only somewhat aware of how ARRA funds would impact their organizations, and 78 percent said ARRA-related information is either too general, nonexistent or difficult to understand, and they would like tailored tools to help them understand the stimulus package.

The survey also gauged IT challenges in the public sector. The lack of standards, budgets and resources for IT deployment and management had significant repercussions for infrastructure modernization in the federal, state and local government arenas. Health-care IT professionals also said modernizing American's health-care system is impeded by problems with budget, interoperability and lack of network integration.

Dell disclosed possible solutions for all surveyed sectors, including energy-efficient products and automated service delivery for the public sector.

"We're seeing three consistent themes from customers who want to use the ARRA to invest in IT -- they want cost and energy efficiency, they demand transparency and they are focused on IT that is simple to deploy and manage," said Frank Muehleman, vice president and general manager of Dell's North America Public Business Group.


Hilton Collins

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.

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